Student CBS Leaders and Students:

Before your new year becomes chaotic and overwhelming, consider being intentional with a few things.  Whether you call them resolutions or simply refocusing, my prayer is that we all walk out what God longs for us to do and be.

Listed below is a snap shot of what I mean when I encourage you to be intentional on this new start.  I truly believe that no matter what community you are invested in or stage of life you find yourself, all of us can engage in these areas.

First, Stay in God’s Word:  I want to encourage you to stay connected to God’s Word individually and in community.  If you are a student, you are asked and even demanded to think, reason, and explore so many things.  If you are an adult, you are expected to know answers and have it together.  Let me remind you this…God’s Word changes lives and takes us place we cannot go on our own.  Will you take a minute or two daily to explore and use your mind and heart here?  May you allow Him to influence your life through His written Word.
Listen and talk to God:  Prayer truly is a gift, and my hope is that you see prayer as connecting to the God who loves you more than you or I could possible know or grasp.  Prayer is also an opportunity to truly think about and serve others.  Prayer was never meant to be a formula, empty ritual, or etiquette.  If you are interested in praying for and/or with someone, let’s talk.
Be a mentor:  This is huge!  I will say it again, this is Huge!   I really believe God does more in your faith and life when you are serving others.  Allow God to use you to teach, encourage, influence, and inspire others.  If you are interesting in being a role model for a kid or need help while mentoring another student or peer, let’s talk.There are opportunities right now for those willing and available to give your life away through small group Bible study and coaching youth sports.  You don’t have to be a Bible scholar or proficient in the sport to be a hero in the life of someone.  If you are interested and willing but don’t know where or how to do this, I would be honored to connect you to an opportunity to serve.
Find a mentor:  In addition to being a mentor for someone, I want to strongly encourage you to find someone to speak life-giving truth into your life.  Be willing to be accountable and be vulnerable.  We are not meant to walk this journey alone.

I Cor 16: 13-14  Be on guard; stand firm in the faith; be men and women of courage; be strong. Do everything in love

Serve those in need:  In some places it is often so easy to see need around us, but it is also often easy to do nothing.  In other places, even finding those in need is often difficult.  I want to encourage you to find ways to serve others in your classes, in your home/apt/dorm, in your circle of friends, in your city.  I really believe God wants us to give our life away in service to others.  Find a place to volunteer and serve once a week or more.  Begin now the habit of living generously and loving with no agenda.  Serving is not just a job you do at summer camp or when you working for or with a church.  If you don’t know where to start, I would love to talk.

Matt 10:7-8 Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

Be in Authentic Community:  We really are not made to be in isolation.  It may feel really good to stand alone, but it seems God’s heart for us is to share life with each other.  I want to encourage you to find and be a part of a local church…this is not a building where you can just go once a week….but it is a community of believers that loves you and sharpens you as you worship and serve.  If you are in Austin and looking for places to go, I’d love to help you on that journey.

Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind

Honor God with your body and health:  This is something that is very important to me, and it is something I think you can make incredible life-giving choices now that will both model for others but also set a great pattern for your life.  Whether that means playing basketball once a week, jogging a couple times weekly, or training for and participating in some form of race (5K, marathon, or triathlon) you can honor God with your body.  I also think it is a great way to interact in community.  Now, be careful, I’m not talking about worshiping your body or going overboard, but I am talking about being intentional to stay healthy and partnering together with others on this journey.

Think about setting some weekly patterns and invite others to join you.  I know some that are organizing races or meeting weekly to work out together.  If you are interested, let’s talk.

I Cor 6: 19-20  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Again, this life we lead this side of heaven truly is a journey.  Enjoy this incredible adventure…each day is a gift.

I pray you feel encouraged as you truly are deeply loved.  May God’s favor rest on you in significant ways, and may you experience His peace as you begin a new season.
Have a great start!
Geoff Rich
CAPstone Branch Director

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